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Nearly half of Canadians report being worse off financially than a year ago: survey


Facing rising costs and high inflation, Canadians are increasingly concerned about their finances, according to a new survey by Nanos Research for Bloomberg News.

The survey found that 47 per cent of respondents felt their finances had worsened over the past year, which is the highest number ever recorded since Nanos began asking the question in a weekly poll in 2008.

"The kicker is that Canadians survived the 2008 recession, they survived the pandemic and worried about their jobs," chief data scientist Nik Nanos said in an interview with CTV News. "Now we're in post-pandemic period, and they are reporting they are worse off now than they ever have been in the tracking Nanos has been doing."

Only 13 per cent of the survey's respondents said their finances had improved in the past year. Respondents were also pessimistic about the economy, with 64 per cent expecting it to deteriorate over the next six months, and just nine per cent anticipating improvement.

Forty per cent of respondents meanwhile expected home prices to fall over the next six months. According to Nanos, sentiment surrounding real estate has been declining since March, when the Bank of Canada began to hike interest rates.

The only bright spot in the survey appeared to be job security. Thirteen per cent of respondents were at least somewhat concerned about losing their job, which is about average for the weekly poll.

Amid rising food costs, another recent survey found that nearly 20 per cent of Canadians were reducing meal sizes or skipping meals to save money.

"I am extremely, extremely worried what the next few months are going to bring, especially over the winter," Linda MacRae, co-ordinator of the Glace Bay Food Bank in Nova Scotia, told CTV News.

The cost of food is also concerning Montreal salad bar owner Stephanie Russell, who's trying to scale back elsewhere before raising prices.

"This month alone our case of lettuce that in general, I would say on average, like a fair price regardless of season is about $35, it's gone up to to $75, to $120," Russel told CTV News. "I've had many regular customers just say, 'OK, so I assume you're going to be raising your prices.'"

Nanos conducts a weekly telephone survey of 250 Canadians for their views on personal finance, job security, the economy and real estate prices. Bloomberg then publishes the results the results after every four weeks and 1,000 responses.

Nanos says the method it uses is accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With files from BNN Bloomberg Top Stories

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